"THE GOD WHO CAN DELIVER YOU!"
Written and preached by David P. Nolte
Two buddies were serving together in the mud and misery of WWI. Month
after month they lived in the trenches, in the cold and the mud, under
fire and under orders. From time to time one side or the other would rise
up out of the trenches, fling their bodies against the opposing line and
slink back to bind their wounds, tag their dead, and wait to do it all
over again. In the process, friendships were forged in the crucible of
misery. The two buddies, Jim and Bill, more brothers than friends, were
particularly close. Day after day, night after night, terror after terror,
they talked of life, of families, of hopes, of what they would do when
(and if) they returned from this horror. They knew one another intimately,
and cared for one another deeply. Their story illustrates how God viewed
and acted toward ancient Israel. In a similar vein, God knew ancient Israel
intimately and cared deeply for them, as He does today for His church.
As we think of that there are some vital truths to remember about the God
who can deliver us.
- GOD KNOWS HIS OWN PEOPLE: V7:
- See how He called Israel "my people." That is a frequent
designation of those He has chosen.
- The church is present day Israel; the church is God's kingdom, God's
- Paul wrote the church at Rome, "for He is not a Jew who is one
outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.
But He is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is
of the heart, by the spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from
men, but from God." Romans 2:28-29.
- And, "but it is not as though the word of God has failed. For
they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; neither are they
all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: through Isaac
your descendants will be named. That is, it is not the children of the
flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded
as descendants." Romans 9:6-8.
- In Galatians 6:16 Paul called all those who will walk
by faith in Jesus Christ "the Israel of God."
- Peter said of the church, "but you are a chosen race, a royal
priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you
may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light;" 1 Peter 2:9.
- There is something we ought to never forget here: in Christ, you are
God's person and He knows you and cares about you!
- "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit
who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For
you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
- "And if you address as father the one who impartially judges according
to each man's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your
stay upon earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things
like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,
but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood
of Christ." 1 Peter 1:17-19.
- If God purchased us and claims us as His own, He will not long allow
anything or anybody to hold or enslave us!
- If we realize that in Christ we are God's people, what are the ramifications?
- Paul wrote to Timothy, "... the firm foundation of God stands,
having this seal, "the Lord knows those who are His," and, "let
everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness."
2 Timothy 2:19
- Live for Him reverently.
- Glorify Him respectfully.
- Serve Him humbly.
- Obey Him faithfully.
- Thank Him gratefully.
Jim and Bill fought side by side. On one charge Jim fell, severely wounded.
His friend, Bill, made it back to the relative safety of the trenches.
Meanwhile Jim lay suffering beneath the night flares. Between the trenches.
Alone. The shelling continued. The danger was at its peak. Between the
trenches was no place to be. Still, Bill wanted to reach his friend, to
comfort him, to offer encouragement, to help and rescue him if possible.
The officer in charge refused to let Bill leave the trench. It was simply
too dangerous. But Bill was painfully aware of his friend's plight and
could not shrug it off, danger or no danger. As God views us from heaven,
He observes what we are experiencing and does not just shrug it off.
- GOD IS AWARE OF WHAT HAPPENS TO HIS PEOPLE: V7:
- Nothing happens that escapes His notice and concern:
- In Genesis 16:13 we find Hagar fleeing from her mistress
Sarai. The angel of the Lord speaks to her and she called the Lord who
spoke to her, "Thou art a God who sees".
- Hananai the prophet said to Asa the king, "for the eyes of the
Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support
those whose heart is completely His." 2 Chronicles 16:9.
- Psalms 34:15 "the eyes of the Lord are toward the
righteous, and His ears are open to their cry."
- Proverbs 5:21 "for the ways of a man are before
the eyes of the Lord, and He watches all his paths."
- Proverbs 15:3 "the eyes of the Lord are in every
place, watching the evil and the good."
- Hebrews 4:13 "and there is no creature hidden from
His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with
whom we have to do."
- 1 Peter 3:12 "for the eyes of the Lord are upon
the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the
Lord is against those who do evil."
- God knows what is happening in your life right now!
- the stresses and pressures.
- the hurts and afflictions.
- the failures and losses.
- the worries and anxieties
- God has always been aware of what happens to His people; that's God's
way! He was aware of what happened to:
- Job in all His suffering and humiliation.
- The 3 Hebrew men in the fiery furnace.
- Daniel in the lions' den.
- Jonah in the belly of the fish.
- Peter in prison.
- His Son on the cross.
- And He is aware of you and me! Nothing is too small for Him to care
about; nothing so insignificant that it escapes His notice; nothing so
trivial that it doesn't interest Him. He is aware of it all.
Bill was keenly aware of, and distressed by , his friend's situation.
The officer had forbidden Bill to take the risk of rescuing his buddy.
But as he turned his back, Bill went over the top. Ignoring the smell of
gunpowder in the air, the concussion of incoming rounds, and the pounding
in his chest, Bill made it to Jim. Then, crawling as low to the ground
as possible, inch by inch, moment by moment, He managed to drag Jim back
to the safety of the trenches. He was committed, even at peril to his own
life, to do what he could to rescue his fallen comrade.
- GOD HAS COMMITTED HIMSELF TO DELIVER HIS PEOPLE: V8:
- He can help; He will help; He delights to help. Max Lucado puts it
this way: "What is God doing when you are in a bind? When the lifeboat
springs a leak? When the rip cord snaps? When the last penny is gone before
the last Bill is paid? When the last hope left on the last train? What
is God doing?" He then gives this answer: "What does God do when
we are in a bind? He fights for us. He steps into the ring and points us
to our corner and takes over." Exodus 14:14 reminds
us "the Lord will fight for you while you keep silent." (When
God Whispers Your Name, pp. 153, 161).
- He is the help of the helpless, the friend of the friendless, the strength
of the weak, the deliverer of the captive.
- In blessing Israel, Moses said, "there is none like the God of
Jeshurun, who rides the heavens to your help, and through the skies in
His majesty. The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the
everlasting arms; ..." Deuteronomy 33:26-27.
- Samuel said, after God led them victorious in battle, "thus far
the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12.
- David said, "but the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
He is their strength in time of trouble. Psalms 37:40 and the Lord helps
them, and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked, and saves them,
because they take refuge in him." Psalms 37:39.
- Isaiah said, "for thou hast been a defense for the helpless, a
defense for the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade
from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a rain storm against
a wall." Isaiah 25:4.
- Others make commitments to us; sometimes they fail for one reason or
- But Paul says that "God is faithful, through whom you were called
into fellowship with His son, Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Corinthians
1:9. He will deliver us!
- And may we join Abraham in his faith that "with respect to the
promise of God, He did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith,
giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what He had promised,
He was able also to perform." Romans 4:20-21. He will
- May this be our persuasion: "for as many as may be the promises
of God, in Him they are yes; ..." 2 Corinthians 1:20.
He will deliver us!
- In light of all that, Paul urges us, "let us therefore draw near
with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may
find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16. God
has committed Himself to that kind of deliverance and He will honor His
Bill fulfilled His commitment of friendship; He crawled out to His wounded
friend, and drug him back to the trenches ...too late. His friend was gone.
The hard, self righteous officer, seeing Jim's body, cynically asked Bill
if it had been worth the risk. Bill's response was without hesitation.
"Yes, sir, it was. His last words made it more than worth it. He looked
up at me and said, 'I knew you'd come.'" We have the biblical assurance
that God will come to our aid. God is never too late, nor is He too early.
He may deliver us in this life -- or the next. But for those who put faith
in Jesus Christ, deliverance is a given. He can deliver us from fear of
death; He can deliver us from our failures; He can deliver us from all
our besetting sins; He can deliver us from alcohol and drugs and illicit
sex; He can deliver us from pride and self-righteousness; He can deliver
us from the wrath of God and certain destruction which comes upon the Godless.
He is able to deliver us -- He is able, ready and willing -- He is the
God who can deliver you today.
STORIES FOR THE HEART, COMPILED BY ALICE
GRAY, MULTNOMAH BOOKS, SISTERS, OREGON
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